Describe and explain all the possible employment laws that could govern the employment at XYZ.
Job discrimination. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits hiring, firing or pay discrimination based solely upon a person's race, religion, sex or national origin. It also prohibits sexual harassment. Employees and applicants must be treated equally and harassment will not be tolerated.
Age discrimination. The Age Discrimination in Employment Act prevents discrimination against applicants or employees older than 40 because of their age. A person's age or proximity to retirement cannot be taken into account when making decisions on hiring, firing, pay, benefits or promotions.
Disability discrimination. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) prohibits job discrimination against qualified people with disabilities who can reasonably perform a job's function. If hired, managers need to work with HR to help create reasonable accommodations for disabled employees.
Overtime/minimum wage. The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is the nation's main wage law, setting the bar for federal minimum wage and overtime pay and limiting the hours and type of duties that teens can work. Employees should be paid competitive salaries and overtime whenever possible.
Family leave. The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) states that with at least a year of service can take up to 12 weeks off per year for childbirth, child adoption, serious personal illness or the care of sick family members. This is job-protected time off.
Gender-pay differences. The Equal Pay Act (EPA) says that pay for female and male employees must be equitable for work on jobs that require equal skill, effort and responsibility. Differences can only be attributed to varying levels of responsibility, skills or education requirements, not gender.
Military leave. The Uniformed Services Employment and Re-employment Rights Act (USERRA) prevents discrimination against workers who volunteer or are called to military duty. When reservists return from active duty tours, XYZ must re-employ them to their old jobs or to equal jobs if it is within five years.
Workplace safety. The Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) requires employers to operate a safe work environment with no noticeable hazards or potential safety problems. Any issues in this regard must be addressed immediately.
Immigration. The Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA) makes it illegal to hire and employ illegal aliens. Identification and workplace eligibility for all hires must be verified by completing I-9 Forms.
Pregnancy discrimination. The Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) prohibits job discrimination on the basis of "pregnancy, childbirth and related medical conditions." XYA cannot deny a job or promotion, terminate or force a medical leave merely because an employee is pregnant. Pregnant employees must be treated the same as all other employees on the basis of their ability or inability to carry out the duties of their job.
2. Define and explain the employer-employee relationship that could exist at XYZ.
In all organizations, the employer-employee relationship is critical to the success of the company. At XYZ, employers and employees will work in close quarters and will inevitably develop relationships that are vital to the business and also impact employee happiness. This has a direct correlation to increases in productivity and business success.
The employer-employee relationship will be based on mutual respect. The level of closeness between management and subordinates may vary from department to department and will ultimately depend upon the individuals, but boundaries will be maintained so that friendships do not blur the hierarchy (Hutson, 2012). This is important because too much closeness can cause conflict and confusion (e.g. accusations of favoritism and unfairness). Romantic relationships are highly discouraged. Professionalism must be maintained at all times.
In addition, everyone should recognize the mutual reliance/co-dependence that exists between the employer and employee. Employees should always be treated with respect and it is the company's obligation to see that individual managers do not abuse their power or mistreat their subordinates. The employee needs to be able to rely on the employer for safe working conditions, pay, job stability and professional growth. The employer needs each member to perform his or her job as effectively as possible to ensure that the business prospers. By working together from a place of mutual respect, everyone will benefit and XYZ will run smoothly.
3. Identify and explain the different forms of discrimination that XYZ could face including race, gender, sexual harassment, sexual orientation, religion, national origin, age and disability.
For protection against discrimination in the workplace, many laws have been instituted over the years in support of marginalized groups and those often treated unjustly. This includes acts such as the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967. Not every form of discrimination is illegal, but it can negatively impact the person on the receiving end (Cornock, 2012).
If XYZ were to prefer and disproportionately hire younger candidates, it constitutes age discrimination against employees in their middle ages or nearing retirement. Many organizations go this route because younger employees are often willing to accept lower salaries (Housh, 2011). However, it is a form of bias that should not be engaged in. Similarly, XYZ should work to protect itself from accusations of physical condition discrimination. Some employees may be overweight, or have physical deformities or disabilities. The most significant factor for consideration for roles should be skill set, the ability to complete the job and other qualifications; not outward appearances.
Gender discrimination is not as prevalent today as it was in the past, but equal-opportunity best practices should be enforced so that skill and job qualifications are considered first when deciding salary, promotions and duties (Stainback, et al., 2011). Race, ethnicity, sexual orientation and religion are other areas where this applies. Discrimination of others solely on the basis of these factors is wrong and not to be tolerated or accepted.
Other, discrimination scenarios that XYZ may face include the ill-treatment of others due to work role or status (e.g., part-time workers, temps or interns) or the mistreatment of someone who is has a language barrier. Discrimination is not just limited to categories or types; it also spans many different forms. This includes verbal, written, physical, or sexual harassment (Katz, 2003). Cyber harassment in the form of social media or workplace email is also applicable and unacceptable. All of these are highly detrimental to workplace cohesion and are not to be tolerated.
4. Discuss XYZ's vision and strategy for diversity.
The diversity strategy of XYZ will be based on responsible leadership and action. Diversity is to be valued not only with customers and consumers, but also with employees. It should be viewed as a framework to support people and business processes (Katz, 2003). Teams at XYZ will be diverse. The goal is to foster an all-inclusive environment where people of all ages, races, sexual orientations, rank and title feel they can contribute their best work. All interactions should be based in integrity, respect, and passion for the business. All XYZ employees should assume personal responsibility for their behavior and actions towards others.
XYZ will work from the premise that diverse backgrounds, experiences and opinions improve the workplace (Pyrillis, 2011). Recruitment and professional development efforts will also include deliberate activities to reach all potential candidates and build well-rounded teams of critical thinkers and talented performers (Cullen, 2007). In addition, the company will seek to encourage understanding, awareness and education of the true meaning of diversity among all employees. This will include workshops and teaming activities that stress how important it is to work collectively, regardless of personal differences.
Overall, diversity in the workplace as a culture and environment must be created. Managers should have performance measures in place to ensure that diversity and inclusion strategies are executed throughout the company (Nadler & Stockdale, 2012). Human Resources should actively reach out to groups where talented minority prospects can be found such as the Society of Women Engineers, National Association of Female Executives, Hispanic MBA and other groups to enhance the personnel recruiting effort. The diversity and inclusion strategies above will all contribute to making XYZ a great place to work for everyone.
5. Identify the methods XYZ uses to promote a diverse workplace.
There are many methods that will be used to address diversity policy at XYZ. The first step is to get the full support of company leadership. The tone and direction should come from the top down. All employees must see that diversity is woven into the fabric of doing business and not just a collection of "espoused" values (Cullen, 2007). Leaders will create the climate and welcome a diverse workforce and discrimination-free environment. It has to be intentional.
One of the first steps will be to analyze policies and systems for all-inclusiveness (Cornock, 2012). This includes training programs, performance reviews, disciplinary actions, promotion opportunities and reward systems. Every process should be audited for gaps and improved if possible. Sometimes, organizations can have unintended biases so this must be reviewed and monitored closely.